Chatting with Kathleen, Margaret and Sarita, three Whiskey Creek Press authors.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Welcome to Pauline Holyoak.
Today I am happy to give over the blog to the wonderful writer Pauline Holyoak. I am sure you will all make her feel very welcome.
About me - I grew in Southeast England, in a coal mining village lovingly nicknamed, “The place that time forgot.” Go to my website, click on ‘Articles’ and find out why. I immigrated to Canada when I was 21 in search of adventure and a new life. I currently live in Alberta with my sports crazy husband, adorable sheltie dog and cantankerous ginger cat. I am the proud mother of two grown children and one grandchild on the way. Yay!
About my trilogy - Merryweather Lodge, was inspired by my own experiences in a remote and mysterious little cottage near Stonehenge. This cottage was called Scotland Lodge and belonged to my aunt and uncle. We would spend our summer holidays there when I was a child. It was my fairytale kingdom but it had a sinister twist. The memories of my summers at Scotland Lodge stayed with me, as a sort of nagging unsolved mystery all my life. A few years ago I revisited my childhood wonderland and was lead to concocting this story and writing this trilogy. This wonderland and my childhood fantasies were the catalyst for my writing career and the inspiration for my trilogy.
The first book in my Merryweather Lodge trilogy Merryweather Lodge – Ancient Revenge, was the Readers Favorite 2011 Silver Award Winner for paranormal fiction. Book two, Merryweather Lodge – Malevolent Spirit, is a Readers Favorite finalist. Winners will be announced in September. I have also written two children’s books and had twenty five articles published.
For aspiring novelists.
A novel is a story about people; it’s as simple as that. It has a beginning, middle, an end, and a whole lot of conflict in between. The author creates the people, involves them in the conflict, and justifies their reason for being there.Writing a successful novel depends on four things –a little talent, lots of determination, a vivid imagination and skill. No one can teach you the first three but skill is something you ‘can’ learn.
The average reader demands several things of a novel – a strong plot, action, well developed and colorful characters, believable character motivation, a well defined back ground, a strong style that brings vivid images to mind, and good grammar. Readers want to be entertained and if you can put emotion, dreams, and desire on paper, you ‘can’ write a novel.
Writing a trilogy or series is not an easy task. You have to keep your story line alive, long enough, to warrant three or more full length novels, and make sure that your characters do not perish from exhaustion, before they arrive at their destination. Each book must stand alone for readers who haven’t followed the previous books yet and you can’t bore those who have, with repetitive details of earlier events. You have to make your first book so compelling, that your readers will be anxious for the next one, and get the second one finished, published and out there, while the first one is still fresh in their minds….Writing a trilogy or series does have it’s advantages though. One already knows the characters, has done the research, established tone, point of view and motivation. ‘And’ if your first book is successful it’s almost a guarantee that your publisher will accept your next one. Find your niche, find your genre and write the sort of book ‘you’ want to read.
Rejections - I have leaned that rejections, are part of the writing life, how to cope with them and how to move on. At first they were like nagging little gremlins, suggesting that I didn’t measure up. I had to learn how to distinguish myself from my work, to set up boundaries between myself and my creation. My writing was like a child to me, but like my own children, I had to send it out into the world to succeed or fail on its own merit. We all get rejections, JK Rowling’s received 14 rejections before finding a publisher for Harry Potter. I wonder what ‘their’ thinking now? Steven King first book Carrie was tuned down 31 times, it took him ten years to get it published. And look at him now.
Perseverance, patience, and bold determination are what most published authors have in common.
Excerpt from: Merryweather Lodge – Malevolent Spirit
I scampered up the stairs, guided by the light from the half-opened kitchen door. Just before I reached for the door, it closed suddenly - as if someone had shoved it. My breath caught in my throat. My fear exploded into panic. “Help! Auntie Em!” I shoved the pendant into my pocket and twisted the brass handle. It wouldn’t budge. I pounded on the door. “Auntie Em! Auntie Em. Please!” The blackness was closing in on me, choking me with its foreboding grip. I couldn’t breathe. I stood, perfectly still, too afraid to turn around, my hand throbbing from beating on the rough wood. Just breathe and relax Emily. She’ll come looking for you soon. Unless…. No! That’s unthinkable. “Meow! Meow!” “What is it Winston? What’s wrong?” The cat growled and then let out a harrowing shrill. Something touched my arm. I dropped the bottles grabbed the pendant out of my pocket, put it up to my lips and prayed.